Data has revealed the possible impact of the growing jobs crisis on the North West, with the region having the highest proportion and number of retail and manufacturing workers in the country, and more redundancies expected in these industries.

There are 351,000 people working in retail in the North West, making up more than 10% of the entire workforce in the region – the highest proportion anywhere in the UK. There are also 318,200 people working in manufacturing in the North West – the highest number in any region in the UK – and almost 10% of the whole workforce in the region. Across the UK, 10.9% of all manufacturing businesses are based in the North West.

With more than 25,000 people across the UK having lost their jobs in retail and more than 8,500 in manufacturing so far, the North West is likely to be hit hard by expected redundancies as furlough support is indiscriminately severed by government. The manufacturing company Bentley, based in Cheshire, already announced 1,000 job losses on 5 June.

In both the retail and manufacturing sectors around three-quarters of employers have made use of the government’s furlough scheme to protect jobs, but with support now being withdrawn from businesses ahead of a hard stop at the end of October, Labour is calling on the government to urgently target support at the hardest-hit sectors. The UK already has the worst regional inequalities in Europe and without targeted action, this is likely to get even worse.

In the North West there are also 10,000 people working for travel agencies or operators, 8,000 people working in the aviation industry and 236,000 people working in hospitality while 9.5% of all travel agency companies are based in the North West

Matthew Pennycook MP, Shadow Business Minister, said:

“The government is writing off the North West as the country enters recession, with the figures suggesting these communities will be disproportionately hit by the jobs crisis.

“Labour is calling for the government to u-turn on its damaging blanket approach to withdrawing furlough, which fails to consider the circumstances of different sectors or the impact on the communities that have a proud history in these industries.

“The government needs to do right by these communities and businesses, and see them through the crisis by targeting support, not pull the life raft away while the storm is still raging on.”

Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and MP for Stalybridge and Hyde said,

“Every job lost is a tragedy and we must do all we can to safeguard people’s livelihoods.

“We are in the midst of a jobs crisis right across the UK but these figures show certain areas are more at risk than others. The Government’s one size fits all approach will see some communities hit harder and they must adopt a more tailored approach now if we are to avoid further job losses.”


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